9 Tips to Help You Get Promoted at Work

Are you itching to take on a bigger role within your company? Want that pay raise? Have you been passed over for previous promotions? After over a decade of working in Corporate Recruitment for Fortune 500 companies, I’ve pulled together a few simple tips to help you get promoted at work. Not only have I observed these decisions being made across numerous organizations, but many of these are lessons I learned on my own path to grow my career. Here is the inside scoop on how to get to the next level.

1. Crush Your Responsibilities

Before you can be considered for a promotion, you need to crush your responsibilities. This means going beyond meeting expectations. Top performers are the ones who are promoted. Think about what you can do to be considered a top performer in your role. It is important to note that crushing your responsibilities is not synonymous with clocking in more hours. It can mean being more strategic, thinking outside-the-box, and being more efficient with your time.

2. Vocalize Your Goals

This might sound simple but unless you share your career goals with your manager, they cannot help you to get there. Make sure you are clear on what you want to achieve. Be sure to ask what opportunities might be available to you or things you can be considered for in order to develop any necessary skills. Things like:

  • Stretch assignments
  • Projects or initiatives
  • Classes or company development programs
  • Conferences to attend

Be sure to document the conversation either in an email or in a company system that records your goals. Performance reviews are a great time for this conversation but don’t feel limited to bring it up only during those windows.

3. Be Open to Feedback

While no one wants to hear criticism about their performance, it is important to be open to feedback. The ability to take constructive feedback and improve from that is a great way to stand out.

4. Be of Value

Instead of harping on your promotion timeline, focus your efforts on being of value. Is there a process that you can offer solutions to improve? Is there something you can help automate? Think about ways to improve things for your greater team and get noticed by stepping up without being asked. 

5. Advocate for Yourself

Use weekly 1:1 meetings with your manager, not only discuss challenges but also to review your accomplishments from the week. They can be big or small.

Research shows that women who do more to make their achievements known are more likely to be promoted, receive greater compensation, and are more satisfied with their careers.

6. Have a Positive Attitude

It’s really easy to read when an employee is unhappy or frustrated. Everyone is allowed to have a bad day at work, but don’t make it a habit to come into the office with a poor attitude. That’s an easy way to delay your promotion – especially if you are putting your hat in the ring to be a people manager. Emotional Intelligence is just as important as crushing your responsibilities. 

7. Be a Team Player

Working effectively on a team and helping others around you to grow is a great way to show your value as a leader. 

8. Formally Apply

Companies often post new job openings externally as a first step. Those new job openings might be promotional opportunities. It’s important to formally apply in order to guarantee consideration. If you’re unsure of the company policy or if you qualify, you can always reach out to HR or speak to your manager first.

9. Take Interviews Seriously 

Sometimes companies explore internals and externals for open jobs. Never assume that you are going to get it because your foot is already in the door. If you are formally interviewing for an internal role, prepare like you would any other interview. You never know who the competition is. 

Overall, it’s not always a linear path to get promoted and it often doesn’t happen on the timeline that we set for ourselves. The key to landing a promotion is consistently performing well, adding value, having a positive attitude and working well with others. Be clear with your manager on what you want to achieve, welcome feedback, and most importantly remember to advocate for yourself. If you follow these steps, then you are on the right track for a promotion.

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